Search for suspect in stun gun attacks

July 17, 2008 2:03:59 PM PDT
The stun gun - is now in wide use by law enforcement to avoid having to use a gun, and by private citizens who have them for self-defense.

At 7th and Dickenson around 4 a.m. Wednesday, a man sneaked up on a 26-year-old woman who was walking home after parking her car. Police say he hit her in the neck with the stun gun, she fell to the ground, and the suspect then ran off with her purse.

The victim describes her attacker as a tall man in his late 30s or early 40s.

A man fitting a similar description struck with a stun gun early Monday morning at 6th and Reed, not far from the scene of Wednesday morning's robbery. During that attack, the suspect launched his attack not far from the victim's home. The attacker also robbed the man before fleeing. Neighbors throughout this community are, in a word, stunned.

Stun guns are illegal for private citizens to own in Philadelphia. However, they are legal for people who live in the rest of Pennsylvania, provided the stun gun is used in legitimate self-defense. If the stun gun is used illegally, police consider the crime a 2nd degree felony.

Detectives in South Philadelphia tell Action News they are closing in on a suspect. In the meantime, everyone in the areas of 7th and Dickerson and 6th and Reed should be on alert, especially in the early hours of the morning, according to police.